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    Top Fifteen Red Wines from the 2019 Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival

    Mind blowing wines fro Canard

    Mind blowing wines from Canard

    IMG_0086It was a spectacular weekend in Newport this year at the 2019 Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival. We always publish a Top Ten list for both the red and white wines each year. This time around we have a serious problem however, as there were simply too many great red wines to cut it off at ten. We could go to twenty easily, but in the spirit of not going crazy, we’ll extend the list to fifteen this year.? California wine from both Napa, and especially Sonoma, was on grand display at this event.

    As always, this represents our opinion only. Also, we do not get to each and every wine (although we certainly try!), so you may have a favorite we don’t mention simply because we didn’t get to try it. We tasted hundreds of wines, but there were still more.
    Lastly, if it is more than $100 per bottle retail, it doesn’t make this list. We’ll mention several in this category that you should hear about, and they will follow the regular listings below. Some were truly incredible.
    Here they are.? Prices listed are generally Suggested Retail Price.? You may find them for less.
    1. IMG_01472015 Canard Vineyards Throwback – part of a simply breathtaking lineup of red wines from Canard, located in Napa Valley, this is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc. It spent 19 months in new and neutral French oak. It is a massive wine, but has focused fruit, rounded edges that let you appreciate it now, a backbone that will age another decade easily, and rich fruit at the core. This is spectacular. $75
    2. 2016? Nino Negri Sfursat?Carlo Negri – a northern Italian Nebbiolo from the Valtellina DOCG, and the Nino Negri Estate, some of the grapes in this wine see the appassimento treatment, where grapes are dried on straw mats to concentrate flavor and color before pressing. In this case the drying process lasts 100 days. The result is a Nebbiolo of richer extraction, with a dark color, deep fruit extraction and an overall richer palate than most Nebbiolo from theIMG_0060 northern DOCGs.? Think of a Nebbiolo version of Amarone.? This was poured at the Friday night Rosecliff event, and it is delicious. $55
    3. 2015 Monteabellon Tempranillo – from Ribeiro del Duero in Spain, this wine is rich on the nose, and equally on the palate. Dark fruits, hints of tobacco and some oak tones round out a complex wine, with a long finish and a very attractive price. Great value wine here. $20, which is half what it should be.
    4. 2016 St. Francis Old Vines Zinfandel – a dark, red purple wine with a rich nose of dark fruit.? Shoe leather and vanilla join the party.? On the palate it is rich, full bodied and brimming with luscious fruit.? Sonoma County.? Unbelievable value in this wine as you can buy it for under $20.
    5. 2015 Abadia Retuerta Seleccion Especial – from a winery adjacent to Ribero del Duero, located in the Sardon de Duero, this was their entry level wine poured at Rosecliff. It is a blend of Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot. It is a IMG_0065beautifully integrated wine, with depth, but round edges for drinking now.? Another Friday night Rosecliff wine, this was followed by three blockbuster, single vineyard wines that exceed our $100 price limit for inclusion. More on those later. This one makes it in easily at a great value price of $35.
    6. 2014 Dona Maria Amantis Reserva – from Portugal’s Alentejo, this is a blend of Portuguese and international varietals. It has everything you want in a world class red: depth, structure, complexity, fruit, length and the stuffing to age. The blend is 25% each of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Touriga Nacional.? Another great value at $25.
    7. 2016 Alexander Sandro Dry Red Wine – another blend, this time from Galilee in Israel. This wine is incredibly smooth, IMG_0119with more red than black fruit, tobacco and a seamless mid palate. At the end some orange peel wraps up a complex wine with no hard edges. About $25.
    8. 2015 Seghesio Home Ranch Zinfandel – this is made with grapes from the vineyards right behind the original family homestead in Sonoma. It’s a little richer than the regular, Old Vines bottling, which is saying something. It just brings a little bit more of everything. Every wine they poured was excellent. $65
    9. 2013 Alexander Valley Vineyards Cyrus – also from Sonoma, this is a traditional Bordeaux blend of all five grapes, and has a dark purple red color with dark fruit on the nose. It is rich, and has great depth, along with brisk tannins that make it seem like it is still a baby six years after it was made. This is a wonderful wine, and something every Bordeaux lover will appreciate. $65
    10. 2011 Jean Luc Colombo Les Ruchets Cornas – classic Syrah from the northern Rh?ne. This is pure fruit, with luscious IMG_0129plum and some blackberry. It is incredibly smooth. Might be getting difficult to find, but if you do find it we would recommend to buy some. $90
    11. 2016 Montes Purple Angel Carmenere – speaking of pure fruit, this wine from Chile is incredibly intense with its explosive dark fruits and vibrant profile. It’s opulent, but still focused and fresh. There is 8% Petit Verdot in the wine. It’s a big one at 15% alcohol, and would be perfect with a slab of grilled beef.? $80
    12. ?2017 Obsidian Ridge Half Mile – 80% Cabernet Sauvignon with Petit Verdot and Petit Sirah, this is concentrated and just a baby, but has the stuff to be great.? From Red Hills, Lake County fruit, and a high altitude vineyard IMG_0158located a half mile above sea level.? $70
    13. ?2016 Dry Creek Cabernet Sauvignon – another from the excellent selection of California wines poured over the weekend, this red from the Sonoma Valley uses all five traditional Bordeaux red grapes, and tastes like a left bank Bordeaux.? It has the intensity and depth of the 2016 vintage in Sonoma, and is a ridiculous value at $25.
    14. ?2016 Sequoia Grove Cabernet Sauvignon – from Napa, this brings dark fruits, oak nuances, chocolate and a little phenolic at first that blows off quickly.? It is tannic and young, but another classic vintage from one of the most reliable producers in the world for Cabernet Sauvignon. $50
    15. ?2016 Landmark Vineyards Overlook Pinot Noir –? a wine full of cherry and earthiness, with just slightly less than full body. ? This one is so smooth, integrated and round.? A pleasure to drink. $25

    Here are the pictures of the other Top 15 Wines:

    IMG_0044 IMG_0058 IMG_0093 IMG_0109 IMG_0115 IMG_0124 IMG_0139







    There were so many other wines worth mentioning, and this was a difficult process to get to the Top 15.? Here are some worth a strong Honorable Mention:

    2016 Canard Estate Zinfandel – $45

    2015 Canard The Rescuer – $75

    2015 Delille D2 – $45

    2016 Chappellet Signature Cabernet Sauvignon – $60

    2015 Smoking Gun Cabernet Sauvignon – $50

    2011 Avanial Ribero del Duero – $13

    2016 Duckhorn Migration Pinot Noir – $35

    2015 Gooseneck Heritage Red – $15

    2017 Finca el Origen Malbec/Cabernet Sauvignon – $15

    2017 Obsidian Ridge Poseidon Pinot Noir – $32

    2013 Belpoggio Brunello di Montalcino – $60

    And then there were some that cross the $100 mark, and thus are not eligible for the Top 15 List.? But they are spectacular:

    2014 Abadia Retuerta Pagra NegraladaIMG_0066

    2015 Abadia Retuerta Cabernet Sauvignon

    2015 Abadia Retuerta Petit Verdot

    2015 Chappellet Pritchard Hill Cabernet SauvignonIMG_0074

    2015 Canard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

    2015 Canard Alluvial

    Everything considered, this is probably the best overall quality in red wines we have seen at Newport.? It was a pretty special weekend.

    Top Ten White Wines will follow.

    A votre santé!

    1 comment to Top Fifteen Red Wines from the 2019 Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival

    • […] 1. 2015 Canard Vineyards Throwback Cabernet Sauvignon – a classic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.? This is big yet focused, powerful but nuanced.? Iron fist in the velvet glove type of juice.? Wonderful wine.? $75 2. 2012 Dona Maria Grande Reserva – made from 50% Alicante Bouschet, with the rest Syrah, Petit Verfot and Touriga Nacional, this is another rich red, and an incredibly complex one.? You can’t go wrong with this wine.? $45 and a great value at that price point. 3. 2015 Domaine Mouton Givry 1er Cru “Clos Jus” – a red Burgundy you might have a problem finding.? If so go online and check out Elden Selections, who imports it.? This is a beautiful Pinot Noir with luscious cherry flavor and loam, smoke, herbal notes and a hint of tar.? Really very impressive.? $46 4. 2015 Abadia Retuerta Seleccion Especial – from the Sardon del Duero, adjacent to Ribera del Duero in Spain, comes this beautiful red blend of Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot.? Rich but rounded, and very drinkable now.? A steal at $35. 5. 2018 Clif Family Rosé of Grenache – I know, with a Rosé in the Top 5 you’re thinking we have had too much to drink.? Not so, as this is just soooooo good.? My favorite rosé ever, period.? $26, but if you join their wine club that drops significantly.? It’s worth the $26. 6. 2010 Shaw Vineyard Keuka Hill Blend – This is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, in a 4/3/2 blend, which is how many barrels of each went into it.? There is not a lot, and that is a shame.? Also notice the year, 2010.? Steve Shaw ages his reds a long time, and it produces remarkable results.? Think of a wine with the berry flavors of Cabernet and Merlot, with the addition of the elegant leather and hints of tobacco you’d get from a great Rioja.? This is good wine, from the Finger Lakes.? $35, and I am buying a case to take home with me on my next visit. 7. 2018 Two Hands Angel’s Share Shiraz – 100% Shiraz from McLaren Vale.? Rich, with a nose we described as “blueberry compote…over grilled steak”.? Throw in some spice and chocolate and you have a seriously good wine.? $33 8. 2013 Hermann J. Wiemer HJW Vineyard Riesling – one of their three, single vineyard Rieslings, this wine had delicate apple and peach aromas and flavors.? It is very linear, and just screams quality.? A wine from the Finger Lakes that will stand up to comparison with any Riesling, anywhere.? Their whole range is pretty great.? $39 9. 2016 Peter Zemmer Pinot Grigio Reserve Giatl – a luminescent, light golden color with waves of lemon, peach and lychee fruit.? This has great acid, beautiful balance and is perfectly on point.? A little pricy for Pinot Grigio, but rather amazing.? $38 10. 2016 Alexander Sandro Dry Red Wine – an incredibly smooth red blend from Galilee, in Israel.? This has no hard edges anywhere, and just drinks beautifully.? $25 and great value. 11. 2014 Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignon – it’s great to see one of the pioneering labels in Napa Valley history returned to greatness.? This is great Cabernet, with opulent dark fruits, a focused profile and some caramel to coat the whole thing.? Delicious wine.? $65 12. 2015 Montabellon Tempranillo – This one is from the Ribera del Duero, and one of the most extreme values on this list.? Dark fruits, tobacco, wood tones, rich palate and a long finish all for $20. 13. 2017 Indaba Mosaic – Clearly the most extreme value on the list, even more than the previous wine, this red blend from South Africa has a complex and rich nose and palate. It drinks like a wine three times the price, at least.? We found it as low as $7. 14. 2016 Gerard Bertran Thomas Jefferson Cremant de Limoux Brut – this pushes all the buttons, and is a really high quality sparkler in every way, for only $20.? I loved this wine. 15. 2018 Nik Weis St. Urbans Hof Estate Dry Riesling QbA– bright apple, melon and lemon from an organic wine.? Off dry, great acid and balance.? Everything you want in a top quality, off dry, German Riesling.? $18 16. 2015 Felipe Steiti – from Mendoza, and Marcelo Pelleriti, comes this red blend.? It is mostly Malbec, with Syrah and Cab Franc.? Rich nose here, with the violet flowers of Malbec and some blueberry and earth.? Racy, with brisk tannins.? Big at 15%, but fresh.? Wait 2-3 years and this should be hitting it’s peak.? $25 and a steal. 17. 2015 Allegrini Palazzo della Torre – from the Veneto, this red is always good and a go to wine.? In some vintages it just takes that step up to being an excellent wine.? This is a great vintage for it.? $18, and worth more. 18. Vino dei Fratelli Mochetto – and now for something just plain delicious, this is a blend of Moscato with 10% Brachetto mixed in.? $18 and fun. 19. 2017 La Bastarda White – from Renzo Masi, this 100% Pinot Grigio is sourced from Sicilian grapes. It is smooth and clean and $9.? Drinks so far above that number. 20. 2013 Bagueri Ribolla Gialla – a Slovenian white, this is very structured and very long.? It has a presence you don’t get from a lot of white wines.? Always excellent, and especially so here.? $30 21. 2017 Banfi La Pettagola Vermentino – rich fruit here, and another well structured and significant white wine.? This is an excellent value at $16. 22. 2017 Chappellet Dry Chenin Blanc – I got primarily pear on the nose, although this is not one note and there is a lot more going on. It is supremely well made.? $35 23. 2013 Biltmore Antler Hill Rockpile Zinfandel – ?a rich, fruit driven wine which will compare well with any top shelf, old […]

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